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Developers Arsenal PHP to ASP Jump

Server Side Scripting is a wonderful term. It’s what takes the control off of the browser and solely in the hands of the developer, because ultimately the developer is the one with the coding capacity. Since I first messed about with php for my own entertainment I have always revelled in using it, perhaps it was my age or my development of programming understanding but on learning php code just started falling into place. Over the years I have written PHP that ranges from the most basic database reading and amending (Data Access Layers 😉 ) to flexible web spiders, data crunchers, content management systems, data extractors, image processors and full on web applications. For me PHP is my main gun, the thing I find easiest to sling a quick script out in. With the ever robust XAMPP you can stick a web server up anywhere in minutes and have a machine doing what you want with data or the web or images shortly thereafter. People have jailbreaked iPhones just to run php from web cafe’s and similar.

PHP is the tool of the open source project. (There are of course companies that use it (my companies do) and huge online websites/behemoths of information that use it as a server side language.) but overall the corporate world, any web software with intent to move to larger markets and bridge the gap to desktop apps codes in ASP and now ASP.NET. There was nothing I couldn’t do in PHP/mySQL that I wanted to do, it for me was a very good toolset and fulfilled my needs as far as I could see them. But it would lack if you wanted to move towards desktop applications, and its lack of association to Microsoft does act as a restriction in some ways. So there it is ASP / ASP.Net needs to picked up. For me this was more a conversion than picking up a new skill, I took PHP and hammered that knowledge into ASP Syntax – this actually works nearly entirely for the most part, you get over the differences very easily if you have done even a bit of visual basic before (as ASP in its default form is essentially vb – C# is also excellent.)

I just took a course in “ASP.NET Scalable web applications using AJAX” (Learning Tree in euston – would recommend it – taught by an excellent consultant, Richard Howells) which affirmed a lot of programmatic choices I have previously made and enlightened me to improved structures for scalability. The thing I most took out of it though is how much work microsoft have put into their IDE (Visual studio.) VS2008 is pretty phenomenal if you come from hand coding everything yourself. I can see how developers get wooed by intellisense and ease of access, they intend to make it all easy – every functionality provided by web technologies in their control based environment. For me it still remains though that in providing a huge framework of simplicity to every user you do carry a certain amount of redundancy, that is while it may take longer to code pure PHP \ Javascript it will still do specifically what you want it too, and only that. Potentially with the microsoft IDE you can create what you want entirely and then cut the fat so to speak afterwards – there are substantial speed benefits with their project based management, this methodology however is not my first choice.

For any person wanting to seek employment or understanding in web development I would highly recommend jumping strait into PHP or ASP.NET (probably PHP unless you have a requirement for ASP – ASP.NET C# Pays better than PHP here in the UK.) After learning the basics of HTML, Javascript and CSS, PHP or ASP brings you clearly up another step. I am available for code/developer mentoring/support as of Summer 2009.

This entry was posted in ASP.Net, C#, CSS, Javascript, PHP. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Bo Allen
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Hi Woody,

    I have come accross your comment on the phpWatch script page:

    and would like to enquire if it would be at all possible to see your modified phpWatch script? I have the same issues with my servers and find the checking for header response extremely useful in addition to ping only as the basic phpWatch does.

    BTW. Thank you for the Browser Compatibility Matrix. Very useful stuff.


  2. Posted May 2, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Hi Bo,

    Aaron Rosenfeld has been in touch with me and I have given him the changes I made to phpWatch so the chances are you will see it in his next release, I have sent you the updates I made via your email, does help if your looking at hundreds of domains/sites to check.


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